Last updated: September 05. 2013 8:10PM -
By - rottney@civitasmedia.com - 740-353-3101

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Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

While inspecting the sewer lines, the village of New Boston probably expected to find some bizarre things, but not a telegraph pole running through the line.

Telegraph messages are used to send text messages long distances through electronic channels. In 1962, the Western Southern Telegraph Company purchased seven acres in Jefferson Township and four acres near Rarden in Scioto County where they constructed two repeater stations. Towers at those stations were reportedly among 26 at the time between Cincinnati and Philadelphia, and the system was capable of transmitting 2.4 million words a minute.

Now decades later, the village was inspecting its sewer lines to prepare for an upcoming $4.3 million village sewer project to redesign the system and eliminate overflows. Inside the 31-inch lines, in the 3800 block of Rhodes Avenue, inspectors found three telegraph poles intersecting their sewers. Village Administrator Steve Hamilton guessed the old poles had been removed from the street at some point in history, but rather than lifting them out of the ground, they were simply cut out at the ground and paved over. The bottom of the poles were still underground, and somehow intersected through the sewer line.

Hamilton said he isn’t sure why they went through the lines, and said they were creating blockages in the line.

“Maybe they thought they’d just concrete around it and it’d be OK, because the population back then wasn’t that much so maybe they figured it wasn’t going to hurt nothing. Then the housing grew and the industrial grew, and it’s causing a problem now,” he said.

He said he’s not sure why they haven’t been discovered until now.

Those sections of the sewer line will be removed and replaced as part of phase one of the village’s sewer project, which is expected to last through 2014.

Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.

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